Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Parent of the Week: Daddy Warbucks

I’m always talking about how parents influence children. But as we all know, children influence parents just as much. A great example of this is Little Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks. Remember how cold Daddy Warbucks was at first, insisting that he must have a boy orphan come stay with him? But sure enough, in just two short hours- er, several weeks- that cute, red-headed, curly top won over his heart and had him tap dancing on the steps of his mansion (who hasn’t tap danced on the steps of their mansion?) while fireworks spelled out her name in the sky. I’ll have you know that, as a child, I thought fireworks spelling was a real possibility for years. Every Fourth of July I waited for the show to end with the spelling of something in the sky, only to be disappointed. Thanks a lot, Annie.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summertime Travel Tips

Summer’s here and for many families, that means travel. Whether by plane, train, or automobile, your child is bound to get bored at some point in the trip. While it’s so tempting to hand your little one the iPhone press play on the laptop for two hours of peace thanks to a movie, the truth is, you could be using this time to 1. Connect with your child and 2. Help him or her learn. Here are some ideas on just how to do that and I’ll give you a hint: remember when we were kids? Yes, the days before technology...

1. Play ‘I Spy’ – Perfect for waiting on the airplane before it takes off, ‘I Spy’ challenges children to be observant and use a critical eye. Use different variations like colors, numbers or shapes (“I spy with my little eye something with three circles”), or letters (“I spy something with an S in the name of it”).

2. License Plate Game – This game is perfect for long road trips and can be done over a period of days (or weeks!). Try and find as many different license plates as you can. Can you find all the states? How many countries? Be careful, it can become an obsession...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speech and Your Child - Tips from KidsCare Therapy

Welcome to summer time in North Texas (and everywhere!) from all of us here at KidsCare Therapy! We are excited to be back this week to further honor Better Hearing and Speech month. In our last post you learned all about speech therapy, including what they do and the symptoms they treat. This week we will focus on some of the potential warning signs for delay, as well as offer up some tips that can help to ensure a child in your life continues to develop their speech skills on target. 

While many of the patients that a speech therapist treats will have diagnosis such as ADD/ADHD, autism, and developmental delays – generally speaking they will be treating a list of symptoms that happen to coincide with these diagnoses, not the diagnoses themselves. As you learned in our last post these symptoms can range from speech or language delays to articulation or dysphagia.

So by now you may be asking, “How can I tell if a child in my life needs speech therapy services?” For receptive language problems (problems pertaining to how a patient processes and understands communication) it is important to see if the child can follow directions that are given, and to make sure they are comprehending questions they are asked. If they look or seem confused when you speak to them it could be a sign that they are not processing the communication.

If a child is not using words, or is unable to communicate their needs, then they most likely have an expressive language delay (which pertains to what they are able to say or how they use language to communicate). While the level of communication will differ with age, look to see if the child is able to express their needs. Even a baby will squeal or cry to get a desired response. Please see our developmental delay chart for specific milestones that a child should be achieving at each age.

So, what are some things you can do to keep a child on par with developmental milestones related to their speech? Well, constantly communicating with the child is perhaps the greatest contribution to their thriving. Talk through each activity you do, and ensure the child tries to communicate in order to request their needs.  Reading to a child, or having them read, is also another great way to continue development. When reading, it is helpful to ask the child questions as you turn each page to ensure there is comprehension (or that the receptive language is being developed). Using pictures is also a great way to have kids associate and learn words.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Parent of the Week: Katy

I'm so excited to present Katy to you! First of all, she sounds like soooo much fun. Second of all, she bakes. She also dances. See why I love her?! Okay- I'll let her tell you the rest...

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!


Tell me a little about you.                       
My name is Katy and I'm a wife and a mom.  I work a few jobs, one PT job outside of the home, one PT job from home and, most recently, starting my own business, Fresh Life Foods.  I love to bake, and I bake everything from scratch. It might actually be the sampling of what I bake that enjoy a little more than the act of baking, but either way, my new business has allowed me to turn my hobby into a career.   I also like to read, sew and play disc golf.  I love, love, love to dance, so dancing in the car is a must for me.  

Tell me about your children.                       
I have two children, one girl who is 5 years old, and one boy who is 5 months. They are both so funny and loving.  My daughter is such a great big sister and loves helping me with her little brother.  My daughter's favorite activities are singing, dancing and playing outside. My son likes eating, sleeping and chewing on toys at the moment.

What surprised you most about parenting?                        
How much I love these little guys. You hear it all the time, but it is just so amazing how you can have so much love for them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teaching Children Self-Compassion

Self-compassion sounds a little cheesy, but it’s pretty simple. It has to do with acknowledging your own feelings and helps you relate to the feelings of others. There are three parts: mindfulness, or the actual acknowledgement of your feelings- realizing they’re there, common humanity, realizing that, others, too, go through difficult emotions and finding support and strength in numbers, and being kind to yourself and others in an effort to reduce further hardships.

Researchers look at self-compassion as a sort of middle ground between the type of ‘tiger mom’ parenting you may have read about, where children’s self-esteem and approval from parents is based solely upon whether they succeed at certain accomplishments, say, playing a piano piece perfectly from start to finish, and the type of parenting where self-esteem is doled out in the form of ‘everyone gets a trophy. For everything. All the time.’ You can imagine that, in the first instance, children may be made to feel that they are never good enough, and in the latter, that they are always the best. This could be problematic for a number of reasons, but namely because children are taught that self-worth hinges upon performance and how they stack up compared with other children. How stressful!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Parenting Quick Tip: Connecting During Frustration

When your child is frustrated, it can be equally frustrating for you, especially if you have a young preschooler who can't yet express everything he needs and wants. Your first reaction may be avoidance- to turn away and let your child figure it on on his own. Or, you may enter into a frustration battle with your child that ends up with both of you melting down.

Next time, try connecting with your child by saying this: How can I help you right now? It will challenge her to use her words and think through her emotions, why she's frustrated, and what she needs in the situation. And it will help you connect with your child in a way that will be meaningful and work through the frustration more quickly :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Parent of the Week: Jenn

You all will love Jenn- I do! Why? I'll give you three reasons: 1. She's a Texan (I don't know if she's actually from here, but she lives here, so that counts) **UPDATE** She is ALL Texan. Read her comment below. I think she's more Texan than Big Tex. 2. She's got such an adventurous spirit and tries fun things you always wanted to but never would/did and 3. She posts the most precious photos of her most precious family on her blog. I could think of eleventy bajillion more reasons why you will love Jenn, but I'll just let you read for yourself...

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!
Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Jennifer... I go by Jenn... call me Jenny and I'll... well I don't know what I'll do but it won't be pretty. I met my husband 20 years ago and we've been married for 16 years of that time. We weren't ready to have kids right away so we waited until we had 10 years of marriage under our belt before we took the plunge. We now have two daughters ages 6 and 3.

In a past life I majored in Anthropology only to find that a liberal arts degree doesn't really guarantee you'll find work. So I worked in several different fields looking for the right job. I worked for a veterinarian, a catering company, a group home for people with disabilities, and a university library just to name a few... Finally I got sick of it all, and my husband and I sold everything and moved to Mexico to teach English. We managed to pay the bills there for about a year and a half. We lived off our savings and a salary of pesos before we had to move back. Once we returned I think that we finally decided that we were grown up enough to have a family. I've been a stay at home mom since my my first daughter was born and even though some days I want to go back to work outside the home I know that this is truly the most rewarding job I can have at the moment.


As far as hobbies go I have many: cooking, knitting, crocheting, just about anything outdoors (except maybe bungee jumping or cliff diving), basket weaving, playing guitar, and song writing. I currently write two blogs... one called worth a fig (where I share recipes and write about foodlore) and worth a knit (where I write about my knitting and other crafts).

Monday, May 16, 2011

CBS 11 clip- Kids and Sharing

Remember last week when I posted about helping children learn to share- and I goofed and mixed up my CBS 11 topics? Well I talked about sharing on CBS 11 today. And here it is!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

An Inside Look at Speech Therapy from the Folks at KidsCare Therapy

In May, KidsCare Therapy continues to celebrate our amazing therapists by partnering with Avant Garde Parenting for Better Hearing and Speech Month! Over the coming weeks, we’ll be featuring—you guessed it—speech therapy services. You’ll learn about a speech therapist’s scope of treatment and the various ways they help children overcome a wide range of developmental delays. By the end of the month, we hope you are equipped with the tools to identify a child that could benefit from speech therapy services.

Just as with occupational therapy, speech therapy’s scope of treatment is very broad and contains some surprises. As their title suggests, speech therapists treat speech and language disorders. What might surprise you is that speech therapists also treat feeding and swallowing disorders, called “dysphagia”. This is the same for both adult and pediatric patients, although the focus of treatment will likely vary. Speech therapy in adults is typically more rehabilitation-based, where as pediatric patients are typically learning skills for the first time.

As in occupational therapy, the goal is to help children develop into fully-functioning independent adults by developing necessary life skills—in this case, communication and feeding skills. By giving a child effective communication skills, he or she is able to express their needs and wants, especially those that are medical. Feeding skills are vital in allowing a child to gain nutrition for appropriate weight gain and growth.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parent of the Week: Carol Brady

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!


Today’s Parent of the Week is dedicated to a TV mom I grew up with: Carol Brady. Carol Brady always knew what to do when there was trouble- whether it was a fight brewing between her six children, a problem at school, or just a silly misunderstanding. And that woman could always wrap it up in 30 minutes or less. I don’t know how she did it.

But let’s talk more important things for a minute- her hair. Was it short? Was it long? I don’t know, but it was awesome. It framed her mom face perfectly and I’ll tell you what- even as a child watching in the 80’s (waaaay past the prime of the Brady’s), I tried the flippy-outy at the bottom. Yes, I did.

Monday, May 9, 2011

CBS 11 Clip- Fighting with Your Teen

Though this blog is geared toward preschoolers, get ready, because preschoolers because preschoolers grow up to be teenagers! So today I mixed it up a bit today on CBS 11 and talked about fighting with teenagers- enjoy!


Helping Children Learn to Share

**UPDATE: Whoops! I goofed on dates and actually talked about fighting with your teenagers today on CBS 11. I promise that, when I do talk about sharing, I'll post the clip :)

Be sure to check back later tonight for my CBS 11 clip on this topic!

Is your child good at sharing? No? Well, get with the program, because your preschooler should be a sharing pro.


The truth is that preschoolers just aren’t good at sharing. We all know this. What’s interesting is that, even when children know that they should share, they still have a really hard time doing it. You know this as parents, but the research supports it, too. In fact, one study found that 100% of 6-12 year olds know that not sharing is wrong and another study found that even preschoolers know that a pile of candy should be split evenly between two people...but kids still have trouble sharing!

Why? The research jury is still out, but it’s likely that desire is so strong at young ages that it trumps everything else. Very young children just have a lot of trouble overriding the desire for a toy (or a sticker, or a treat, or what have you) in order to share with someone else.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parenting Quick Challenge: Live in the Moment

One thing I admire about young children is their ability to live in the moment. They play freely, without worry of what the next day or even hour will bring. What a free feeling that must be!

I’ll be the first to admit that I have trouble living in the moment. I’m a planner. A worrier and a planner. Those qualities have their advantages- I’m rarely late, I almost never forget things, and I’m usually prepared for anything. However, I also wake up many a night- and lie awake- thinking about what I need to do the next day. Not because I have a big meeting or presentation, just because I’m afraid I’ll forget something or not be completely prepared. I toil over details and worry about others far more than I should or probably need to.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parent of the Week: Helen

This week's parent of the week is Helen- a delightful, funny, down-to-earth mom of a precious adorable 4-year-old boy. You will love reading about her adventures and perusing her cute photos. Enjoy!

REMEMBER: If you’d like to be a Parent of the Week, or if you’d like to nominate someone, simply email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. It’s that easy!


Tell me a little about you- Who are you? What do you do? Hobbies? Do you dance in the car?
I'm Helen and I'm pretty sure it'd be easier to tell you what I don't do than to tell you what I do do.  I have a culinary degree, but I gave up the dream of being a pastry chef when I realized the hours I'd have to put in - on my feet.  ha!  Now my degree is put to use packing lunches & making family dinners. 
I do work outside the home still, at a desk job though.  I also run a jewelry business with my sister (Pink Fish Designs) and a local park blog (DFW Parks & Playgrounds).  In my free time (haha!) I enjoy running & off-road cycling.  I also try to spend as much time as possible with my crazy son & my amazing husband of 9 years.
Oh, and I totally dance (and sing, terribly off-key) in the car.

Tell me a little about your child.
I have one full-throttle, non-stop, spirited, loving, hilarious son, who will be 4 in July.  He is a morning person for sure - he literally bounces out of the bed early in the morning, talking non-stop.  He usually doesn't stop talking or moving until he falls asleep - sometimes not even then!  He loves to be the center of attention & if we're in a crowded room he'll ask me "how can I make all these people laugh?".  He is super smart (of course!) and comes up with random questions likes "do they play a lot of tennis in Tennessee?".  He is currently obsessed with jellyfish, electric eels, Legos, Scooby Doo, & Transformers.  He also loves to tell stories, read books, go "adventuring" & climb on any & everything he can find.

Monday, May 2, 2011

CBS 11 Clip - Handling Unwanted Parenting Advice

Just wanted to share my CBS 11 clip from Friday on handling unwanted parenting advice from others...everyone has gotten it at one time or another! Enjoy!


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